The numbers paint a very, very clear picture for business owners, regardless of the size of their business or even the industry they are in – mobile marketing is a must. With ever-increasing percentages of users who check the web exclusively or at least predominantly on their mobile devices, it is something no smart business owner can afford to ignore.
Probably the most advanced option for business owners who wish to harness the incredible power of mobile marketing is developing their own app. This app would then be downloaded by their customers/clients and, hopefully, recommended to new users who will later become customers as well.
Isn’t an App Very Expensive?
This is the first concern that business owners have when someone suggests they should have an app developed for their company. They are worried that it is going to be very expensive. And really, app development used to be quite an expensive undertaking, with even the simplest apps costing anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000 to develop and with more complex ones costing as much as $100,000. These days, however, thanks to mobile app builder companies, an app does not have to cost too much.
What is Geofencing?
Now that we have covered why businesses of all sizes and in all industries need a mobile app, it is time to start talking about the star of this article – the geofencing feature. The easiest way to imagine it is to imagine a certain geographical area (a block, a neighborhood, an entire town or city) which has been demarcated with a “fence” which is, of course, not actually physically present but which will have different properties than the rest of the world when your app is in question.
In essence, an app which has this feature will make actions depending on whether its user is inside the fence, whether he or she is entering it or whether he or she is leaving it. In most cases, their presence inside the fence or their leaving it will trigger a push notification that the user will receive from his or her app.
A Few Examples
A simple example of the geofencing feature as part of an app would be an app developed by a local bar. For example, the owner can choose to “fence” the surrounding three blocks and if their customers and app users enter this area, they are greeted by the bar, perhaps notified of a ladies’ night or something like that. They can use geofencing to boost their already existing marketing efforts.
Geofencing can also be used by a car repair shop, for instance. Once they finish a customer’s car, they set a notification that will notify the said customer if they are in the area near the garage.
A real estate agency can set a number of fences around the city, letting their customers know when they are near a property that is on the market so that they can check it out.
The examples are numerous and with a bit of imagination, a business can use geofencing organically, providing their customers with added service that will make their customers much more loyal and inspire them to recommend the business to other people.
Few Words of Warning
While geofencing can be a fantastic tool, there is also a way to use it poorly. The most important thing to remember is that it is not a high-tech version of a bullhorn. Do not use it to shout at your customers and app users every time they come near your business. Always put yourself in their shoes. Is the notifications you are sending them something you would like to receive on your phone?
Geofencing will make your app a talked about star, but only if you use it smartly and in ways that the app users will welcome.
Author: James D. Burbank has spent more than a decade in marketing and the trade show industry. He is the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog and a big Utah Jazz fan.